Then, both of our husbands arrived and we got to hang and laugh and chat even further. We headed to an AWESOME eatery that serves lots of locavore treats for lunch, then trekked to find a street sign that would help our agreed-upon parenting decision -- to tell our children that a TOWN was named after THEM!!! (There's a local town near us with their handsome little guy's name in it...and, needless to say, they live near "Hadley". *high pitched* Awesome!!!) Holding a sleepy toddler up to a wonderfully aged sign was just the ticket to cement the agreement. Perfect.
My first impression was that the place reminded me of an insanely busy beehive. I couldn't believe that pedestrians and vehicles weren't getting into tangles with the sheer number of people heading in various directions and cars pulling in and out. (Hence my not standing in traffic to take an exterior picture.) There were a plethora of organic seedlings for sale outside, but at $4 a pop I didn't think it wise to spend my entire gardening budget on the plants alone. (Mind you, I was tempted. Oh so tempted.) We also didn't have my SUV, so I didn't want to dirty my mother's impeccable car.
Once inside, I found just as crazy a mass of worker bees. Of course, I forgot my shopping list, so I just meandered (as much as one can) throughout the store and grabbed things that I thought were a deal or that I would NEVER find locally.
Organic strawberries the price of REGULAR strawberries?? Get me the largest container, STAT!
MEAT?? Every combination of organic or grassfed or humanely treated you could imagine.
Organic white AND whole wheat pizza dough? Be still my heart.
Mind you, I would've bought more stuff. A lot more. But...see...I'm a touch disappointed to admit that all the rumors and online bashing are accurate. Most of the people I tried to maneuver around were downright...um...well, let's just say self-involved and rude. Can I say that? Okay, we'll just say that. I'm thinking far more appropriate, but LESS appropriate things, if-ya-know-what-I'm-sayin'.
Seriously, I was kind of surprised that pretty near EVERYONE shopping was the same exact way. At my usual Hannaford stop, I stumble upon the self-involved...the "won't look up from their cell phone, won't move from the center of the aisle" folks. But, they're generally in the minority. Most people will say "sorry!" and scoot over for you, just as I frequently do for them. It's a give-and-take.
Not at Whole Foods. Young hipsters. Middle-aged dudes who should know better. Mamas. Hippies. Somewhat normal 30-somethings...okay, these ones surprised me. I could've been looking in a mirror, seriously. Except that they remembered to take their apathy pills for the day, and I clearly didn't get the memo to take mine. Like, really? Gonna give me the "move or I'll get cut" look?
At one point, I sneezed. Then I sneezed again. And, because I'm a genius (I'm superstitious), a final third time. The last time, a lady working there glanced up, then back down. So, apparently the concept that workers are on the opposite spectrum from their shoppers is kinda bull crap, too. I could feel the seething judgment of the cashier, whom you could tell would rather be working at a GAP (y'know...full of a different type of narcissism). That was lovely.
But, regardless, aside from the warm fuzzies from the actual social experience of perusing a Whole Foods, I enjoyed the place. No, really. The aesthetics were gorgeous. I found myself turning a corner only to gasp at the beauty of the meat section. I'm not deranged; they were just stocked wonderfully with items I could have only dreamed about...and at relatively low prices. They just HAD. SO. MUCH. I wanted to weep.
Only, I really did kinda want to weep. When I got to the car with my booty (which, thanks to booze -- and a special organic, non-GMO 6-pack for the husband whom had entertained the, of course, NOT napping toddler in the backseat the entire time -- cost a touch more than I had expected), I was glad the experience was over.
Let's just say...I'm kind of glad for my over-priced Hannaford finds and a relatively stress-free shopping experience. I'll probably go back some day, but I'll be better prepared.
As we slowly entered Memorial Day weekend traffic, I stretched my neck to glimpse the Trader Joe's across the way. Next time, Dellecese. Next time.